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Tough Times, Tough Choices in Afterschool Funding

Pathways to Protecting Quality

Building understanding of the need for high-quality afterschool programs could help sustain support for quality even in tough times.
May 2012
A white boy sitting on the floor holding a toy, in a classroom with other mixed race and gender students
  • Author(s)
  • Jennifer S. McCombs, Sheila Nataraj Kirby, and Joseph Cordes
  • Publisher(s)
  • RAND Corporation
Page Count 21 pages


When budgets are tight, cities often must choose between afterschool program quantity and quality: the number of seats for children vs. the richness of programming offered. The tendency is to choose quantity over quality. This RAND paper argues that raising awareness of the importance of quality and how to build it—through training for after-school employees and other means—can help sustain investments in quality.

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